The new branding for many of Somerset’s public services was confirmed at a meeting of Somerset County Council’s Executive today (14 December 2022), with the approval of a brand for the new Somerset Council. The new brand will begin to appear on council services from April next year when the new unitary Council comes into existence.
The new brand, featuring a version of the Somerset Dragon from the county’s coat of arms, has been designed by an in-house team at the council and was developed after testing with staff and residents. Council services will be badged by a white dragon’s head placed in a teal five-sided shape, representing the five councils that will be replaced by the new council.
Cllr Bill Revans, Leader of Somerset County Council, said: “We obviously need to clearly identify the services of the new council – it’s important that residents know where their council tax goes – but we have been at pains to develop and implement the new brand as economically as possible. This is a challenging time for council finances, and we have to make sure we are spending taxpayers’ money as wisely as possible.”
As well as keeping costs down by designing the branding with an in-house team made up of designers from Sedgemoor and South Somerset District Councils, working with colleagues from Somerset County Council, the paper approved by Executive also proposes that the new council should avoid a branding “Big Bang”, rolling out the new brand over time and accepting that branding from the existing councils will continue to be seen around the county for some years to come.
The design team has gone to great lengths to make the new brand clear and accessible, with the key colour supporting the highest level of accessibility and using a new typeface, Atkinson Hyper-legible, a font designed with the Braille Institute in the United States.
The new branding will first appear where the council has a legal responsibility to identify itself as providers of services, from council tax statements to parking signs. It will also provide brand new services such as Somerset’s Council’s single new website.
Cllr Revans added: “We will also rebrand key council services such as customer service points, libraries and waste trucks and have made an allowance in our budget for the local government reorganisation. Fortunately, the cost of new waste truck livery is included in our agreement with our contractors. We will keep costs down by avoiding a ‘big bang’ approach and rolling out the new brand gradually.”
As well as the dragon’s head, the design team has included topographical outlines of 12 Somerset landmarks, from Glastonbury Tor to Knowle Hill, to link the council’s publications to the county it serves. The new council plans to add other landmarks over coming years in response to suggestions from residents.